"Dare to travel alone, you'll meet amazing people"
Life is one hell of a journey. It moves fast and flashes before our eyes, sometimes in the directions we least expect. Many of us are standing around waiting for a sign to take a risk or to believe enough in destiny or in happenstance to take a leap of faith. Whether this be in our career, our lifelong dreams or our relationships. We choose to stay on the safe path because its comfortable, it's what we know and what we are used to. So rather than going out and taking a chance on the things we wished we could do, we spend most of our time on social media scrolling through the lives of others and daydreaming about the “what if?” I’m here to tell you, enough with the “what if?” Instead ask yourself the following question: “how will I?”
“Be a smart solo traveler. Always know where the embassy is and stay by your hotel.”
I think that all of us while living a different story, we’ve all had to overcome challenges and obstacles, and have come out alive and kicking on the other side. Now while that may make you a survivor who is alive, wouldn't you prefer to be a survivor that's truly living? The Latinista had the pleasure of hosting Dreams in Heels, Founder Olga Maria in a live conversation on how she overcame fear, challenges, rejection and followed her dreams to New York City. This Latina woman is not only a paid Traveler, Writer, Blogger, but she is living a real life career fairytale. Olga, a proud Puerto Rican, came to the US at the age of 18. “I knew I had to leave Puerto Rico, because I wouldn’t be able to complete my dreams there, so I came to NYC.” While she understood how hard it would be to leave behind all she'd ever known she shared “you have to leave what you’re used to - I knew I wanted something more.”
What many of us wouldn't have imagined while listening to this confident and vibrant woman talk us through her many accomplishments was that Olga grew up filled with insecurity. She wasn't always so brave. Olga was born with a leg condition where her achilles tendon is shorter than average. “I can’t walk with my feet flat on the ground. I walk on my tippy toes.” In school, she was made fun of, kids called her “robocop,” because of the special boots she had to wear. As she got older she realized the power of heels and how comfortable she felt in them. She did everything in heels. They changed her life, and so began “Dreams in Heels.” “I turned a negative situation into a positive one.” Olga has been taking over the world in heels one destination at a time!
“Separate your personal life from your work life to stay motivated and inspired. Be with yourself in your own thoughts. I meditate and practice yoga. It is important to have balance. Dedicate time to your friends. Talk to people and don’t isolate yourself.”
“Traveling changes your life and it helps create your personal brand. People don’t follow you. They follow your story.” Olga explained how traveling has exposed her to a variety of different cultures and how she has truly immersed herself in those cultures. Olga has learned how to speak German, Portuguese, Turkish, and Ukrainian. She uses Google Translate when there is a language barrier with people she meets but has found that trying to speak a language has worked to her advantage. “Understanding culture makes her creative and helps her understand how to build relationships. If you understand others cultures you will close the deal.”
“Join meetups. Connect with people. Volunteer. Attend networking events. Collaborate with those who do what you want to do!” - Olga Maria
Travel hacks for buying cheap flights:
1. Google Flights